Wednesday, January 09, 2013

SO IT'S 2013...

I was trying to write a blog post all over Christmas and new year.

I failed because the kids were around constantly. Or when my husband was home I felt we should do 'family' things together. 

I failed because I went very internal and hibernated in my own head. I didn't want to do anything other than dumb down and watch inane movies on TV. 

Sound familiar?

My brain feels suitably dead going into this new year.

A new year that is supposed to bring me success as I get back on my feet to work again. On a good day, the baby doesn't need me so much and the other two are in school/playschool every morning.

2012 was a year characterised by the kids outshouting me in the household with the noise levels reaching a point where my ears ring all the time now. 
It was the year when chaos reined in our household - yet I learned to embrace it... sometimes... [See Embracing The Chaos]
Other times, I still yearn to curl up into a ball and hide away from their wildness. It still gets overwhelming, at times, having three very loud and lively kids.

That's what it was like over Christmas - when everyone disappeared into internal family walls and my normal social supports weren't available. Home alone, husband working, no school to stimulate the kids, long wet days of just me and 3 buzzing kids in our small house. Argh!!

I have to raise my energy.

New year, new exercise regime... If only it wasn't so wet, so dark early, too many things to do, kids holding me back, excuses, excuses....

But one New Year's Resolution was reached last night: I went to a Toastmasters meeting. My intention for this year is to build a new sort of confidence in myself. To conquer my fear of public speaking, to connect my brain to mouth and to not be afraid of what other people think of me and my spoken words.

I don't know why I go to jelly when I'm speaking in front of more than one person, why my mouth dries up and why I'm suddenly not able to remember anything, but I do. And I always have done.

Years ago when I was working in London as a journalist, I would be asked to go on panels, radio or TV as an expert commentator. I reluctantly said yes to a few of them, thinking that the confidence I managed to adopt when I was interviewing people would carry me, but it didn't. The experience had me shaking with fear, petrified like a rabbit in the headlights, I stumbled, my voice went shaky and I couldn't even remember who I was. 

It still haunts me to this day and I still can't listen to my voice when it's recorded.
This fear held me back. I would avoid media exposure roles after this. Eventually I left London and national newspapers behind when I moved to Ireland to start a family, but it's always been something that I wanted to overcome. 

Motherhood has given me more confidence in myself, but I still can't connect my thinking brain to my mouth in matters of talking about myself or telling stories. Years of being shy and introspective as a child still linger, despite an outward persona of being confident and open. 

I was a shy child

So I'm on a mission to change this. At 40 years of age, I'm trying to re-set the foundations of me that don't function anymore and redefine myself as someone who CAN do things. Who CAN do anything

I like being 40. It's liberating. It's giving me permission to reinvent myself and be young again, to live again, after the five hardest years of my life making babies. 

Watch out world, here I come....

But seriously, this is what the blog is all about. It's about typing and not knowing what I'm thinking until it's been typed and appeared as a stream of consciousness on the screen. I'm good at connecting brain to hand - and just typing until I find some kind of sense in my thoughts. It's about giving my brain space to think and download, so that I can clear the decks for other important things. 

If I can learn to public speak, then that flow might extend to brain to mouth, without all the need to write it down in the middle. 

Does this make sense?

I've been questioning recently the point of my blog. The external versus the internal. Whether anybody is reading or cares about what I'm saying. The danger in revealing too much. The dirty laundry appearing in public. The kids becoming public property.  

There is a fine line between the personal and the private in all these days, especially with everybody Twittering on. I aim to keep that boundary between the personal and the private. But I also need to discover myself in my blog - and I'll only do that by being honest and writing regularly.  

So it's Back to the blog for me. Back to life. Back to trying to be more external because it's better that way. 

I am not an island. I am woman and I have a voice. 

And this year I'm going to learn to use it.

Will I blossom?


Anonymous said...

"I am woman and I have a voice" Love this!

I, for one, would be very sad if you decided to stop blogging so I'm delighted you're sticking around. xx

Lisa | said...

Sounds like a good resolution Amy. Will be interested to hear how you get on with Toastmasters, and whether or not it helps.

Gwendy said...

OMG!!!! I identified 100% with that post! The noise of the kids, the hibernating, the thoughts about blogging, everything!!!!! I'm not a toastmaster person but my thing for 2013 is to stop being such a wuss behind the wheel of the car and actually drive somewhere strange. Somewhere other than the supermarket and the school. I can drive and i am a good driver but the thoughts of joining motorway users gives me the heebee jeebies.

Maud said...

Love this, Amy. Best of luck with the speaking. I was on the school debate team, etc, but still can't listen to the sound of my own recorded voice either - so I'm not sure how connected that is with a reluctance to speak in public.

I love that my blog brings me places in my thoughts that I wouldn't otherwise have arrived at. Sounds like yours does too.

Aoife said...

This could have been written for me! My plan this year is to fake it till I make it.
So even though inside I might die a little at the thought of getting out there and doing non-mothering related things, I'm going to get up off my arse and just do it.
We're in it together Amy!

Mary said...

I don't get to comment much Amy, but just to say I love your blog and love reading it. It often inspires me (I still remember your post on the baby wipes and it helps me to reach for the cotton wool or cloth wipes instead!!!), so hope you keep on writing. Good luck with the Toastmasters, I too would be interested in hearing how it goes for you